Durban: South Africa will consider legalising prostitution and public drinking during the 2010 soccer World Cup in the country.
This follows a submission by the Police Commissioner, Jackie Selebi, to Parliament this week about the problems the police would face if the laws were not relaxed for the World Cup.
He called on the Parliamentary Safety and Security Committee to follow the example of Germany during the last World Cup where prostitution and public drinking were allowed.
"I want you to apply your minds to my dilemma of what to do with the thousands of soccer hooligans expected to imbibe in public spaces and those who would feel the urge to try out other more exotic pastimes both currently illegal in South Africa", the Police Commissioner pleaded.
"You as a committee must be sitting and thinking of how we are going to get around this. If a visiting fan is out on the street having a bottle of beer, must I arrest him, because it is illegal?
"What are we going to do in 2010 with all the hooligans in the fanparks where people will be watching soccer on TV or out there in the streets, in city squares where people will be drinking liquor?" he asked.
"Are you saying the police must go out and arrest them, or are we going to have a special dispensation for the whole country during that period?"
Even if they were to be arrested, where would the Police put the thousands of people, he asked.
"A similar dilemma surrounds the question of prostitution, which an event like the World Cup is known to boost. The World Cup is coming. We know, as all of you know, it exists,. What are we expected to do.
"The number of prostitutes will definitely increase during the World Cup. The Government should come up with innovative ways of controlling public drinking and prostitution. In Germany, they controlled it. They said this thing exists, whether we like it or don't like it."
The members of the committee agreed with the Police Commissioner that the police would face a problem in 2010 and therefore the matter should be given priority by the government.